Arx Fatalis

Review

posted 1/9/2004 by Charles Husemann
other articles by Charles Husemann
One Page Platforms: Xbox
The spells themselves are good and Dreamcatcher has done a nice job of putting together a nice variety of spells for you to play with. With 40 spells in the game you really aren’t going to run out of things to try.

Visually Arx Fatalis is bit hit and miss. The game features some fantastic environments for you to explore. The developers have done a great job of creating a wonderful environment for you to explore. From the bloodstained dungeons to the city of Arx there are some really impressive environments. Occasionally these graphics slow down the frame rate (especially noticeable in the main cities). The lighting effects are also tight and add a lot of ambiance to the game (light plays a critical role if you decide to play the sneaky route as the game allows you to hide in shadows).

The let down comes to the models for the characters in the game. Some of them are a bit blocky and not quite up to the level of the rest of the environment. They don’t look that bad but they do stand out in comparison to the excellence of the environment. The water effects are OK but really The other quibble I have is the font used in the game. I can’t place why it bothers me but it does feel a little out of place given the context of the game.

The audio in Arx Fatalis gets the job done but it’s not spectacular. There are a lot of cool environment sounds that help enhance the exploration sensation of the game but the rest of the sounds are a bit generic. The voice work is also a bit uneven with a bit of good work mixed with some not so good work (the goblins kind of grated on me for some reason, it’s like they all shared the same voice).

Another thing I really liked about the game is that you can save anywhere in the game and you can have as many save points as you want. This really allows you to take some risks and really explore the game without having to worry about backtracking through parts o the game.

Arx Fatalis shares some lineage with Ultima Underworld and that’s a good thing because at the end of the day Arx Fatalis is a rock-solid RPG that will offer fans of the genre a new world to explore. There are a few quirks to the game but the plot and environments help to gloss over some of the other problems in the game. IfGiven that the game can be found for around $30 the bang-for-the-buck factor is high and it represents money well spent.


B
Despite a few flaws, Arx Fatalis is a very solid RPG with a great story line. Be forewarned that you will lose large amounts of free time to this game without realizing it.


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